Neowin speculated yesterday that the Linux Mint 21 beta releases were imminent, now, the team’s lead has confirmed their release. The team recommends using the beta releases for testing purposes only, as they may contain critical bugs. If you are desperate to give them a go, you can boot them from a LiveUSB without having to install them to your hard drive.
Unlike previous versions of Linux Mint, users of Linux Mint 20.3 will be able to upgrade to Linux Mint 21 thanks to the work put into the new graphical Upgrade Tool. Before the introduction of this tool, upgrades were only easy between point releases, and it was preferred that big upgrades were done via a clean installation.
With Linux Mint 21, there are lots of improvements. Improvements include better thumbnails for more file types including AppImages, Epubs, and Webp files, a process monitor to see what’s going on in the background, and the inclusion of the back-up software Timeshift as a XApp. The Cinnamon edition ships with Cinnamon 5.4 which includes a major rebase of the window manager, Muffin.
If you’d like to give the beta images a whirl, check out the blog posts for the Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce editions for comprehensive information about each of the releases and download links. If you’re waiting for the stable version, it should be ready about a fortnight from now.